Students for a Smarter Planet ..leaders with conscience
Government

Although most of us are, at all times, peripherally aware of the food shortages around the world, there are those who are constantly addressing the needs of the hungry.  Charities, governments, and individuals make concerted efforts to alleviate the challenge of feeding the globe’s inhabitants.  Here are a few links to stimulate your thoughts on what you may be able to contribute through your own work…

Permaculture is a philosophy of working with, rather than against nature; of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than protracted and thoughtless labor; and of looking at plants and animals in all their functions, rather than treating any area as a single product system. —Bill Mollison

 

From The GuardianPermaculture in Malawi: using food forests to prevent floods and hunger

 

From The African Moringa and Permaculture project: Food Forests, an idea pioneered by permaculture, draw upon the examples provided by natural native forests and carefully incorporate non-aggressive exotic varieties.

Permaculture

 

Bookmark and Share

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has “launched” a public challenge with the aim of innovating technologies vital for the establishment of a colony on Mars. The agency is focused on a mission to the Red Planet, and has already taken the first vital steps. However, while simply reaching Mars with a cargo of healthy astronauts would be a monumental triumph, maintaining a permanent presence on so inhospitable a planet could prove to be a much greater technological challenge.

Maintaining a colony on the Red Planet will prove to be a leviathan challenge, compounded by the knowledge that should a catastrophe occur, the nearest aid sits roughly 140 million miles (225.3 million km) away. At best estimates, the shortest periods between resupply missions from Earth would be around 500 days. It is inevitable that much of the technology at the outpost will be reliant on resources from the homeworld, making any delays in the launch of a supply run a potentially life-endangering event.

The three most promising candidates will be granted a $5,000 USD minimum award.

So here’s the challenge to you:  submit an idea for one or more Mars surface systems or capabilities necessary to achieve a continuous human presence on the Red Planet.

Click on the red planet to submit your idea(s):

blog mars

 

Bookmark and Share
May 1st, 2015
5:07
 

How would you like to ‘glide unseen’ into an area?  While Harry Potter and countless other fictional characters have used cloaks of invisibility to achieve that trick, we more mundane beings have limited powers to make ourselves non-intrusive.  And some folks are better at it than others…my laugh is so recognizable, it’s been the subject of much commentary over the years.  But, if I could clamp down on my tendency to be mirthful, maybe I have a shot at not standing out in the crowd?

Read about tech that’s making at least part of you unrecognizable…  Developed by AVG in the Czech Republic,

New glasses make you

invisible to facial recognition technology

Invisibilty glasses

AVG’s invisibility glasses. (Credit: AVG)

“The glasses, they explained, could help prevent smartphone users from snapping and uploading unwanted and potentially embarrassing photos of you. They can also prevent your likeness from being captured and featured in Google StreetView or other big-data projects.

Sorta’ makes you feel like a super-hero, doesn’t it?  What potential good (or harm) do you see resulting from this technology?  Is there an improvement or offshoot that you can envision?  AVG is a worldwide company – take a look at their job opps across the globe here:  Careers at AVG

Bookmark and Share

With so much unrest and so many active military operations being deployed around the world, the potential for serious injury or death for the fighting forces mounts incalculably.  As this state of affairs does not look to be on the wane in the foreseeable future, it is necessary to take measures to protect (to the best of our ability) those that are put in harm’s way.  Here is a novel approach, almost magical if you will, to make oneself ‘invisible’.

Brian J. Tillotson, a senior research fellow at Boeing, has come up with a device that would heat the air in front of the spot where a bomb goes off.  In one version, a detector “sees” an explosion before the shock wave hits.  “Though the armor plating on a military vehicle might stop the debris from a roadside bomb from injuring a soldier, it can’t shield against the shock waves generated by such explosions. The blast wave goes right through a human body and causes massive trauma.”  Read about the invention that aims to mitigate the damage…

 

Sci-Fi Cloaking Device

 

Could Protect Soldiers

 

from Shock Waves

 

Invisibility cloak

A newly patented device could use heated, ionized air to stop shock waves generated by explosions. (Credit: Kheng Guan Toh / Shutterstock.com)

What military or civilian applications are you working on that might have life-saving effects?

Bookmark and Share

Renewable energy could provide a cheap and immediate source of power to those who need it most – especially those thrown into chaos by war (including refugee camps), famine or natural disaster.

UK entrepreneur, John Hingley, founder of Renovagen has developed a lightweight roller solar panel designed to be deployed in war zones and remote locations.  The panel is designed as a bendable solar panel sheet which is a patented solar system called RollArray – a 9mm thick photovoltaic sheet that “rolls up like a carpet.”

blog rollarray

The RollArray claims to be 10 times more powerful than any other transportable solar generator of the same size, and that a 20ft container can house a system capable of producing 100 kilowatts at peak performance.

Daniel Becerra, co-founder of BuffaloGrid, wants to relieve some strife by enabling mobile phones to be charged in off-grid locations. The UK company has developed a small portable unit resembling a toolbox which users can plug their phones into to charge. The BuffaloGrid Hub can run off any power source, including solar panels. There’s a huge demand for this because many of the world’s poorest people, while lacking a power supply, have their own mobile phones.

Bboxx, which sells off-grid solar systems core product is a solar home system, known as the BB17, which contains a 17 amp battery encased in a control unit. This allows people in cut-off regions to power a range of standard appliances.

Do you have any expertise in this arena?  or would any of these solar solutions help you to develop other great ideas for leaving a smaller footprint?

Bookmark and Share

Subscribe to this category Subscribe to Government

 
ChatClick here to chat!+